Briefs: 1 dead, 1 missing after southern Utah canyon floods

One man is dead and another is still missing after floodwaters poured into a slot canyon in southern Utah near the Arizona border. (Photo by Chris Hunkeler, cc-by-sa-2.0, https://bit.ly/3ZHZ1Hr)

One man is dead and another is still missing after floodwaters poured into a slot canyon in southern Utah near the Arizona border. (Photo by Chris Hunkeler, cc-by-sa-2.0, https://bit.ly/3ZHZ1Hr)

SALT LAKE CITY - One man is dead and another is still missing after floodwaters poured into a slot canyon in southern Utah, endangering three groups of hikers who had to be hoisted out via helicopter Tuesday.

Kane County Sheriff's Lt. Allen Alldredge said the man who was found dead and the man who remains missing were among a group of three hiking south to Lees Ferry across the Utah-Arizona border. The third man was rescued and taken to the hospital, where he was being treated for hypothermia and bodily injury after days of exposure.

Alldredge said authorities received a call Monday from the spouse of a hiker who had not returned home from a hike they began Friday. The hikers were on a multiday trek from Wire Pass to Lees Ferry through Buckskin Gulch's sandstone features that includes multiple narrow slot canyons.

Authorities did not release any of the hiker's names. Alldredge said the dead man was from the Tampa, Florida area.

The "atmospheric river” storms that swept parts of the western United States last weekend raised the water level in the canyons before additional floodwaters spilled into the slot canyons from storms early this week.

Authorities continued to search for the missing hiker as weather forecasts predicted additional rain Wednesday.

Two Utah Department of Public Safety helicopters surveyed the area looking for the missing hiker. After being called for the group of three, they also helped extract 11 other people stuck in frigid floodwaters who had called for help.

Grand Canyon National Park planning a $208M waterline repair

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK – A $208 million multi-year repair is planned for the Transcanyon Waterline that supplies water for the local community and millions of visitors to Grand Canyon National Park.

National Park Service officials said the repairs and upgrades on the waterline within the inner canyon and the South Rim will ensure the park is able to meet water supply needs for at least the next 50 years and support 6 million annual visitors and some 2,500 year-round residents.

They said work planned for the coming months will focus on establishing construction infrastructure and staging areas in the Grand Canyon Village Area on the South Rim.

Park Service officials said the work should not cause any restrictions or closures this year that would impact visitors.

The project is not expected to be completed until 2027.

Originally built in the 1960s, the 12 ½-mile waterline provides the potable water for all facilities on the South Rim and inner canyon facilities within the park.

Park Service officials said that since 2010, there have been more than 85 major breaks in the waterline with each repair often costing more than $25,000.

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